Thursday, August 30, 2018
A Tale of an Amulet (Medical Anthropology) 1st Edition by Ariela Popper-Giveon (Carolina Academic Press)
A Tale of an Amulet provides accounts of traditional Arab women healers in Israel and their patients and presents a wide variety of case studies, combined with personal experiences from the field. It describes the rocky road leading the healers to their calling, depicts the treatment methods used by the healers, and sums up current changes in their practices. Additionally, the book deals with the social context of the healers' activity, assessing the influence of the healing profession on their status as well as the opposition expressed towards them. It portrays the patients and the reasons they seek assistance, shedding light on the realities of life among Arab women in Israel. The book presents the treatment's short- and long-term implications, including changes in patients' personal and social lives. It presents traditional healing as one of the coping methods available to contemporary Arab women in Israel; both practitioners and patients cope by ''returning'' to their culture and values, thus differing from the more common coping methods noted in the literature, which entail ''going out'' to the world of education, the labor force, and politics through contact with the Jewish population.
Because the world of traditional Arab women healers in Israel has not been investigated in depth to date, this book constitutes a pioneering study. It is of interest to those interested in traditional healing and the lives of women in different societies as well as those those seeking information about the Arab population of Israel and the significant changes it is undergoing. It will appeal to scholars of anthropology, especially medical anthropology, and those specializing in gender studies and other disciplines involving use of qualitative methodology.